Books On My Reading List This Week – April 5, 2022

Read Along with Me

I am really looking forward to my reading list this week. I am two books away from completing my reading goal for 2022. Which is wild!

The first book on my list is a crime thriller, set in 1949 Tel Aviv. The protagonist is a private detective and survivor of the Shoah. This one sounds like a page turner. The second book on my list is certainly timely, Tears Over Russia. This new release from Lisa Brahin explores a nearly lost piece of Jewish history as pogroms across Ukraine, from 1917 to 1920 resulted in the murder of somewhere between 100,000 to 250,000 Jews. Brahin’s grandmother was among a group who journeyed for three years in order to escape the violence.

I learned about my third selection from another member of my Torah study group. We are currently working through the very sensual

Song of Songs which is attributed to King Solomon when someone brought up the book Song of Solomon. While the theme of one book doesn’t appear to relate to the other, I’m looking forward to reading this book.

And finally, as Pesach is fast approaching, I am preparing for this season of freedom by reading The Women’s Passover Companion. This book explores the themes of Passover and their impact on women’s lives.

Join the conversation! Tell me what you’re reading this week in the comments.


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Books This Week

Ten Years Gone by Jonathan Dunsky
Click the image to find it on Amazon

On the dusty streets of post-war Tel Aviv, a crafty killer roams free…

Israel, 1949 – Private detective Adam Lapid knows how it feels to lose everything. His whole family died in Auschwitz. He barely survived. Now he spends his nights haunted by nightmares and his days solving cases the police won’t handle.

Hired to find a missing boy, Adam thinks the case is hopeless. But he can’t turn down a mother searching for her only child.

What Adam doesn’t realize is that this case will soon put him in mortal danger. For at the root of the mystery lies a double murder that has stayed unsolved for ten long years.

Adam must untangle a web of lies and betrayal to get to the truth. And he’d better watch his back because some of the suspects are willing to kill to keep their dark secrets buried.

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Tears Over Russia: A Search for Family and the Legacy of Ukraine’s Pogroms by Lisa Brahin

A sweeping saga of a Jewish family and community fighting for survival against the ravages of history.

Set between events depicted in Fiddler on the Roof and Schindler’s List, Lisa Brahin’s Tears over Russia brings to life a piece of Jewish history that has never before been told.

Between 1917 and 1921, twenty years before the Holocaust began, an estimated 100,000 to 250,000 Jews were murdered in anti-Jewish pogroms across Ukraine. Lisa grew up transfixed by her grandmother Channa’s stories about her family being forced to flee their hometown of Stavishche, as armies and bandit groups raided village after village, killing Jewish residents. Channa described a perilous three-year journey through Russia and Romania, led at first by a gallant American who had snuck into Ukraine to save his immediate family and ended up leading an exodus of nearly eighty to safety.

Click the image to find it on Amazon

With almost no published sources to validate her grandmother’s tales, Lisa embarked on her incredible journey to tell Channa’s story, forging connections with archivists around the world to find elusive documents to fill in the gaps of what happened in Stavishche. She also tapped into connections closer to home, gathering testimonies from her grandmother’s relatives, childhood friends and neighbors.

The result is a moving historical family narrative that speaks to universal human themes—the resilience and hope of ordinary people surviving the ravages of history and human cruelty. With the growing passage of time, it is unlikely that we will see another family saga emerge so richly detailing this forgotten time period. Tears Over Russia eloquently proves that true life is sometimes more compelling than fiction.

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
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Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. As Morrison follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, she introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized Black world.

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The Women’s Passover Companion: Women’s Reflections on the Festival of Freedom by Sharon Cohen Ainsfeld

The Women’s Passover Companion offers an in-depth examination of women’s relationships to Passover as well as the roots and meanings of women’s seders. This groundbreaking collection captures the voices of Jewish women―rabbis, scholars, activists, political leaders and artists―who engage in a provocative conversation about the themes of the Exodus and exile, oppression and liberation, history and memory, as they relate to contemporary women’s lives.

Whether seeking new insights into the text and traditions of Passover or learning about women’s seders for the first time, both women and men will find this collection an inspiring introduction to the Passover season and an eye-opening exploration of questions central to Jewish women, to Passover and to Judaism itself.

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